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Who needs one? Get one for a while at ‘Rent a Hubby’

Jay Shupe said he learned a lot of his handiwork watching Bob Vila on “This Old House” on TV. Photo by Amy Byres.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Husbands aren’t for sale, but they are for rent with a new business in Rio Rancho, Becca’s Rent a Hubby.

Handyman and Navy veteran Jamid “Jay” Shupe owns Becca’s Rent a Hubby.

He offers his services as a handyman to turn “honey to-do lists into honey-done lists,” Shupe said.

During COVID-19-related restrictions, he only worked with existing clients, but he’s looking to take on new ones when those limits are lifted.

Shupe served in the Navy for 10 years before leaving in 2004. He worked on an amphibious Navy ship in advanced electronics, computers and intelligence.

Shupe learned his trade from life, he said.

He watched “This Old House” with his mom growing up and considers himself overqualified as a painter because of his experience in the Navy.

His business began in 2019 after being let go from his job the day after Christmas in 2018.

“I said, ‘OK, I am tired of working for people who don’t appreciate what I do,” he said.

Shupe started his business to empower his skill set and identity as a veteran.

“It just seemed like every time I would get ahead in a job in the private sector, it would be in a year or two years I would hear, ‘I don’t need you; have a good life,'” he said.

Shupe started working for friends and people around the community who needed help with odd jobs around the house.

After a couple of jobs, his wife, Rebecca Shupe, suggested he start his own business.

“I kind of sat there and thought about it and said, ‘Why don’t I do this full-time; why don’t I become a handyman?'” he said.

Rebecca offered to help him find more clients.

“She posted on Nextdoor and on Facebook — as silly as it sounds — ‘I am renting my husband out for anyone who needs a handyman; let me know,'” he said.

And that is where the name of his business, Becca’s Rent a Hubby, came from.

Most of Shupe’s clients are 50 to 80 years old.

One client is a Vietnam veteran who has multiple sclerosis.

“This is another veteran in my community that needs someone to go to who understands them. And he is a very intelligent man, but the mind has become a little foggy and he can’t do the things he used to,” he said.

This veteran fell out of his chair one day, and emergency medical services had to break in through his back door to get to him.

Shupe fixed his back door and placed a lock box outside in case it ever happened again.

“I am helping my community in one small little way. No one sees these things, but it is a vet I am doing this for,” he said. “I am working for the people I want to work for.”

Shupe said he wants to see his business not only be veteran-owned but also veteran-employed.

“I hold a lot of military ideas. So the chain of command is important to me, taking initiative and doing more than what is asked of me,” he said. “So being a veteran-owned business is me working for myself, and it’s being of service still to the ones that I think that need it.”

To learn more about Becca’s Rent a Hubby services, call 492-4128.

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